Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats

38                      HISTORY OK PERSIA             rIIA1, XLV1
and in order to secure their lives ami property the Persian
nobles had to humble their pride and become clients of
the Arabs. The contempt which the conquerors displayed
towards the people they subdued was like that of the
Normans for the conquered Saxons, and is exemplified in
their bitter maxim, " Three things only stop prayer ; the
passing of a client, an ass, or a dog*/'l On the other
hand, the finances of the country were modelled on the
Persian system and the administration was manned by
Persians in spite of efforts to keep them out.
We read of Zoroastrians who fled to remote Kuhistan,
the central portion of modern Khurasan, and of some who
even emigrated by way of Hornur/ to India, But the
emigrants were few in number, and from references which
abound in the Arab chroniclers it is clear that lire temples
and Zoroastrian communities existed in many parts of
Persia until comparatively recent times. To-day the only
I two important bodies of adherents to u the good religion"
{reside near Yezd and Kerman ; but 1 recollect; being in*
formed that the inhabitants of various villages to the
north-west of Yezd had not been converted to Islam until
early in the nineteenth century.9
Although Persia ceased for a time to exist us an
independent state, she soon asserted her intellectual
superiority over the Arabs, whom, as the centuries went
by, lack of education and capacity drove buck to the
deserts from which they had originally issued. At the
same time the contemptuous treatment of the Persians*
was persisted in for many generations,
1 Vide Jurji Zaydan's History of Islamic CwiltMttiattt p, 70 (Gi!>l Momorul)*
54 Ten T/wusatui JMites, ftfn p 156,